- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Stephen Lyn Bales, editor

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival at Ijams was best yet

By Vickie Henderson

Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration is in full swing in Tennessee making this an exciting time of year for hummingbird lovers! And a perfect time to have a festival in their honor.

Photo by Jody Stone

Last Saturday, August 22, the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and Ijams hosted their fifth annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival in Knoxville and the people attending were enthusiastic and eager to enjoy the many nature activities offered by the festival.

Organized by talented KTOS member, Billie Cantwell, the event attracted more than 1300 visitors who enjoyed hummingbird banding, nature walks, wildlife demonstrations, expert speakers, food, arts and crafts vendors and exciting children's activities!

Photo by Tom Howe
The popular highlight of the event is the hummingbird banding demonstrations offered by Mark Armstrong, Master Bander of hummingbirds and songbirds.

Photo by Susan Baumgardner
Mark Armstrong examines a hummingbird. Photo by Jody Stone

Volunteer Andy Troutman removes a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird from one of the bander's traps. Hummingbirds enter the trap to access the feeder and a door is lowered with an attached line. 
Photo by Susan Baumgardner.
Once removed from the trap, the hummer is placed in a mesh bag and transported to the bander.  
Photo by Jody Stone  

Mark first checks the hummers legs to be sure there is no current band. He then secures a numbered band around its leg and examines the hummer for age, sex and health. Measurements are recorded for the tail and beak and the belly is checked for fat to help determine overall health. If the individual is a juvenile male, he also records the number of red feathers on the throat. Photo by Susan Baumgardner.

Armstrong attaches a numbered band to a hummingbird's leg. The small stocking covers the hummers head and helps to keep it calm. Watch the video below to see banding in progress. Photo by Jody Stone.

Patty Ford gives visitors a close look at a hummingbird before release and below, she gently places a hummingbird in a child's hand for the release. 
Photo by Susan Baumgarder.

The banding station banded 28 hummingbirds and had one male re-capture that was originally banded at the festival three years ago. The average life-span of a male hummingbird is 1.4 years and the oldest recorded male hummingbird was five years old. Our re-captured bird is doing well! Photo by Jody Stone. 

The male Ruby-throated Hummingbird shown above is molting feathers, meaning the old worn ones are falling out and being replaced with new ones. Tiny white tubules, that become the feather's shaft, hold the feathers as they grow. Molting during migration is a sign of health, according to Master Bander, Mark Armstrong. It means the hummingbird has enough energy reserves, or fat stored, for both migration and healthy growth.
Photo by Vickie Henderson. 

Thank you, Billie!

For more information or history of the festival go to: Vickie Henderson Art 

No comments:

Post a Comment